For many Latina moms, teaching their kids to speak Spanish is often a priority. But trying to incorporate two cultures in their lives isn’t always easy. Whether you choose to teach your kids Spanish and raise them with Latin traditions, that is your right. Sometimes kids pick up the language naturally while others struggle to learn it. But the truth is, any parent will eventually encounter the struggle that comes with raising kids bilingually, and Eva Mendes recently confirmed that this affects ALL moms — even the wealthy and privileged.
In a recent interview, Eva Mendes admitted she wants her kids to learn Spanish but learn the proper way of speaking the language. The 45-year-old mother of two said during her interview on The Talk, that teaching her children Spanish has come with more challenges than she expected.
“We’re trying to teach the kids Spanish, and it’s harder than I thought because I speak Spanglish and that’s what they’re picking up,” she said. “It’s adorable, but it’s technically not a language. So my little girl will be like, ‘Mami, my boca hurts because I think something got stuck in my diente.’ It’s so cute, but that’s not really going to work out there.”
I can totally relate to this issue, and not because I have children but because I was raised in a Spanish-speaking household where I only spoke English outside the house. I still speak Spanglish, and it’s not an ideal way of speaking. Speaking dual languages simultaneously is okay when you’re talking to friends or family, but when you bring that into the workplace, it’s obviously not professional.
Children do pick up everything and anything, so juggling the two languages seems natural and effortless but when you’re taking Spanish in school it’s an entirely different thing, and harder to do because your brain is already formulated to think and speak a certain way.
So what’s the solution? There’s a ton of affordable ways to teach a child Spanish, but I would suggest trying to break the mold of speaking Spanglish. If Mendes’ kid said: “Mami, my boca hurts because I think something got stuck in my diente.” I would correct her on the spot and teach her how to say “boca” and “diente” in English. Or how to say the entire phrase in Spanish.
How would you suggest to teach a child to break the habit of speaking Spanglish?
Here’s a clip of her interview. FYI: She credits Ryan Gosling for being the reason for having kids. She was never interested in being a mom before that.